Apple iPhone 5 users warned over faulty power buttons

Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5 users whose devices feature a faulty sleep/wake button will get the chance to have it replaced for free later this week.

The consumer electronics giant claims the button, which is used to turn the device off and on, has only stopped working for a "small percentage" of users, particularly those with iPhones manufactured through March 2013.

The company is offering to replace the mechanism for free on faulty iPhone 5 smartphones or ones that sport a qualifying serial number.

To help users work out if they are in line for a free repair, the company is inviting iPhone 5 users to input their serial numbers into a search box on its support site.

"If your iPhone 5 sleep/wake button does not show any signs of this issue and/or does not have a qualifying serial number, no action is required on your part at this time," the support site states.

The vendor's button replacement programme has already started in the US and Canada, but is set to be rolled out to other countries from this Friday (2 May).

The work to replace the buttons will take place at an Apple Repair Centre, the site confirms, and should take between four-to-six days to be fixed and returned to users.

"Before sending your iPhone to Apple for service, you will need to back up all your data and erase all your contents and settings," the support site advises.

It also states the devices must be in full working order before the repair can be carried out, and if people send in devices with any defect that prevents the button being replaced, a charge may be incurred.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.